Name and surname : Mario Rivera Meza.


          • Pharmaceutical chemist.
          • Doctor in Pharmacology.

Current charges:

  • Professor of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology.

Institution / Affiliation: Universidad de Chile

City-Country : Santiago, Chile.


  • Member and Vice President of LASBRA (Latin American Society of Biomedical Research on Alcoholism).
  • Member of the Society of Pharmacology of Chile; Member of ISBRA (International Society of Biomedical Research on Alcoholism).

Research lines / topics:

One of the objectives of our laboratory is the identification of new molecular targets involved in the addictive properties of alcohol and other drugs of abuse. Another objective is the development of new experimental drugs useful for the treatment of substance addiction. For this we use in silico tools (bioinformatics, molecular dynamics), manipulation of gene expression in vitro and in vivo, chemical synthesis and efficacy evaluation in preclinical dependency models.

Main publications:

  1. Activation of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) by ALDA-1 reduces both the acquisition and maintenance of ethanol intake in rats: A dual mechanism? M Rivera-Meza, D Vásquez, ME Quintanilla, D Lagos, B Rojas, M Herrera-Marschitz, and Israel. Neuropharmacology 146, 175-183, 2019.
  2. Racemic salsolinol and its enantiomers act as agonists of the μ-opioid receptor by activating the Gi protein-adenylate cyclase pathway. P Berríos-Cárcamo, ME Quintanilla, M Herrera-Marschitz, V Vasiliou, G Zapata-Torres, M Rivera-Meza. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 10, 253, 2017.
  3. Ethanol as a prodrug: brain metabolism of ethanol mediates its reinforcing effects. E Karahanian, ME Quintanilla, L Tampier, M Rivera-Meza, D Bustamante, V Gonzalez-Lira, P Morales, M Herrera-Marschitz, and Israel. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 35 (4), 606-612, 2011.
  4. Reduction of ethanol consumption in alcohol-preferring rats by dual expression gene transfer. M Rivera-Meza, ME Quintanilla, L Tampier. Alcohol and Alcoholism 47 (2), 102-108, 2012.
  5. Mechanism of protection against alcoholism by an alcohol dehydrogenase polymorphism: development of an animal model. M Rivera-Meza, ME Quintanilla, L Tampier, CV Mura, A Sapag, and Israel. The FASEB Journal 24 (1), 266-274, 2010.